Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Time Use Survey 2009–10: information for survey respondents

Survey at a glance


The Time Use Survey collects information on how New Zealanders use their time, which in turn provides information about childcare, paid work, work-life balance, and the value of non-profit and household work to the New Zealand economy.

 Selection process

A representative sample of households, selected at random to represent everyone in New Zealand.


Approximately 8,500 individuals.


Every 8 to 10 years. The Time Use Survey 2009–10 is the second Time Use Survey and runs from 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010.

 Results See Time use page for results of the survey.

About the survey

What is the purpose of the Time Use Survey?

The Time Use Survey examines how New Zealanders use their time to do different activities, where they spend their time, and who they spend their time with. Information from the survey can tell us about:

  • who’s caring for who
  • the value of unpaid work (both inside and outside the household) to the New Zealand economy
  • how people schedule their paid work
  • how people manage their work-life balance
  • how people use their free time
  • how people schedule their sleep
  • how socially connected people are with their friends and family.

For more information about the survey and for results from the 98–99 survey, see the Around the Clock publication or our collection of data tables.

How often does this survey take place?

We plan to run the Time Use Survey every 8 to 10 years. The Time Use Survey 2009–10 is the second national Time Use Survey – the first ran in 1998–99.

Who is included in the survey?

One member of the randomly selected household aged 15 years and older completes a household questionnaire. Two randomly selected eligible people aged 12 years and over complete a 48-hour diary and a personal questionnaire.

How is the survey conducted?

A Statistics New Zealand interviewer conducts a face-to-face interview with each participant using a laptop, and selected participants fill in a 48-hour paper diary and answer a personal questionnaire.


Giving data

What will I be asked to do?

The household questionnaire

When the interviewer arrives at your house, the first thing they will complete is a household questionnaire. The household questionnaire collects information about members of the household such as their gender, age, ethnicity, and income. At the end of the questionnaire, the computer will randomly select two people aged 12 years and over from your household. These two people will be asked to fill in a 48-hour diary of what they do, and to answer a personal questionnaire. The interviewer will arrange a time for a follow-up visit where they will conduct the personal questionnaire and go over the diaries with the selected participants.

The 48-hour diary

You will be given a day of the week to begin your diary. You will be asked to write what you were doing for 48 hours from 4am on that day. There are different columns in the diary that the interviewer will ask you to fill in by noting what you were doing, anything else you were doing at the same time, where you were, and who you were with.

When the diary is complete, the interviewer will go through the diary with you, asking questions to get more information on childcare, care of adults, paid work, and unpaid work.

The personal questionnaire

Each person who is selected to do a diary will also be asked to answer a personal questionnaire. The personal questionnaire will ask questions on age, gender, ethnicity, income, paid work, and unpaid work.

How long will the interview take?

The household questionnaire should take about 10 minutes, the personal questionnaire about 10 minutes, and the diary about 45 minutes over the course of two days. It should take the interviewer about 15 minutes to go over the diary with you once it is completed.

How young are the people that are surveyed?

The Time Use Survey asks for participants who are aged 12 years and over. We want respondents this young because, like adults, we want to know how young people use their time to do paid work, unpaid work, how they use their leisure time, and who they spend their time with.

We will only interview young people with the permission of a parent or guardian and while in the presence of that parent or guardian.


Your rights

Who will I need to give my information to?

You will only need to provide information to a Statistics New Zealand interviewer who will carry photo identification. The interviewer will enter the information that you give onto their secure laptop. The interviewers are forbidden under the Statistics Act from sharing your information with anyone not bound by the Statistics Act.


Your responsibilities

Do I have to be part of the Time Use Survey?

We appreciate your time is important and value your participation in this survey. Under the Statistics Act 1975 you must provide the information requested by Statistics New Zealand. It is important that information from all of the households surveyed is accurately represented in the statistical results and your participation will help this.

Will I be paid for providing information to Statistics New Zealand?

Providing information to Statistics New Zealand is a statutory obligation. There is no provision in the Statistics Act 1975 for people to be paid for providing information. 

What if I need more information about the survey?

For more information please call 0800 104 744 or email


  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+